U.S. consumer prices see slower growth in May, but core prices index which excludes energy and food prices continued to firm.
Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, increased 0.2 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, lower than the 0.4-percent growth in April, said the Labor Department on Thursday. On a year-on-year basis, the index increased 1 percent, lower than the 1.1-percent growth in April.
The energy index increased 1.2 percent in the month, while food index fell 0.2 percent. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the so-called core CPI went up 0.2 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same growth in April. The core CPI was up 2.2 percent from a year earlier, higher than April's 2.1 percent increase.
However, the core personal consumption expenditure price index, the Federal Reserve's favored inflation gauge, increased 1.6 percent year on year in April, below the central bank's 2 percent inflation target.
As the transitory influences holding down inflation fade, and as the labor market strengthens further, the Fed expects inflation to rise to 2 percent over the next two to three years, said Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen said on Wednesday.
The central bank on Wednesday decided to keep its federal fund rate unchanged, noting that it continued to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.